Sunday, December 28, 2008

Does Your Life Have a Purpose?

Does Your Life Have a Purpose?
by Dan Miller

People living on the islands of Okinawa and Sardinia are more likely to reach 100 years of age than people living anywhere on earth. These people attribute their long lives not to healthy eating, leisure living, or great genes, but to a term they love to use -- ikigai which in essence means "sense of purpose."

To expand it a little, ikigai is related to positive life-satisfaction, self-esteem, morale, and a sense of having meaning in one's life. So people who possess ikigai have defined "that which makes one's life worth living." Unfortunately there is not really an American English equivalent word, but we certainly understand the concept -- it's what all of us long for, as well.

This goes beyond a basic spiritual sense of purpose and eternal connection. Having resolved our spiritual position, it's that feeling that our life is valuable and that our future is worthwhile, even if our present circumstances are dark. In studies of these island dwellers it appears that having ikigai is not connected to economic status at all.

Now what about you? Is your sense of having purpose and a life worth living independent of your circumstances, or has your current situation also deflated your confidence in the value of your life? While the holiday season can be a delightful time of year, for some this upcoming month will also be stressful, emotionally taxing, and a reminder that goals were not achieved this year.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I know where I stand spiritually and have I resolved how I will spend eternity?
2. Have I discovered my "purpose" now -- here on earth?
3. What did I accomplish this year that I should be celebrating? (It's easy to get too busy to notice all you have accomplished.)
4. What can I do to have a daily sense of ikigai in 2009?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Got the go ahead to train for a marathon!

Hi all~ today I saw my cardiologist to go over the results in more detail from the CT angiogram. Everything with my heart looks good and I have the ok to train/run a marathon! I will remain on a very low dose of the beta blocker as it seems to keep my BP where it needs to be with out much in the way of side effects. I go back in 3 months for a follow up. So, that was all good.

I have been concerned about the report referring to "multiple areas on the ribs & spine" so the doctor called and spoke to the radiologist to get more details. It appears the rib that was noted is the area that we already know about and the spine seems to be something new but was noted as being very small. This is an area (t 11) that has been noted before but not as cancer. So... the tests in January will tell us more but for now that was overall good news. I am feeling good, just have some pain in my rib area but have been able to continue running. Chris and I braved the cold tonight and ran a "quick" 4 miles :)

Please continue to keep the upcoming tests/results and Gods healing in prayer with us.
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

test results

I received the CT angiogram test results a few days ago. I felt pretty confident that it would be ok and it was, my heart looks good. What I was not expecting was the test to note "multiple spots on the ribs and spine,indicating metastatic disease". However, it also refers to these areas as being in the "healing" stage. My nurse said sometimes there is more cancer than shows up on the scans and then begins to show up when it is getting smaller or healing. My tumor markers are slightly elevated, one in range one out of range, but they are slowly going back up, which is not great news. I have my next set of tests set up for January 13th & 22nd. My Dr. feels we need to be cautious and compare "apples to apples" meaning my last scans that were done in Sept. to the next set in Jan. Same tests done in the same place by the same people. Remember, the cta was focusing on the heart, not the cancer. So, we have to take another complete look again.

I would like to ask everyone to be in prayer over these next weeks for healing and for comfort. Our God is not a God of statistics, He is still a God of healing and miracles!

I am expecting the Lord to rescue me again, so that once again I will see His goodness to me here in the land of the living. Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, softhearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you. Psalms 27: 13-14

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is YOUR opportunity to let the new administration know where you want the country to go – I hope you will take advantage of it.

Hi, my name is Elayne, I am 44 and I am fighting breast cancer for the second time in my life.I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that has spread to the bones.

At this point in my life I am not only surviving but thriving as a wife, mother and runner.

I would like to see more research and options, especially for people like me that tend to have few options left as a stage 4 cancer patient.

There are now hormonal and targeted therapies being used which do not destroy the rest of your body in the process as with the traditional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. I think there is great hope in targeted therapies and should be a continued area of research and development.

I would love to see more focus on environmental issues. What is being allowed to be put in the foods we are eating that are loaded with hormones,preservatives and antibiotics as well as what is acceptable with our air quality. On preventative care through a healthier lifestyle overall beginning at childhood.

Cancer is affecting so many people and so many families that we as a nation need to be proactive instead of the traditional reactive society that we have been.
There are many alternative and holistic approaches that most doctors know nothing about. They know very little to nothing about nutrition. These should also be areas that doctors are knowledgeable in and can offer as choices. These may all be keys in being proactive or increasing survival for those of us fighting this battle and those who do not yet know they will be fighting it as well.

Thank you~ Elayne Minich
10 year breast cancer survivor

If you would like to send a letter to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance to let our new administration know what your top priorities in the fight against cancer are click on the link below~

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Almost made it one week~

Well, I am back on the beta blocker ( Coreg) as of today. My BP was just getting too high again ( (145/93) and as you can imagine it is not a great feeling. I spoke to the nurse today and she said it will be a matter of getting the dosage right. I have either been too high or too low. This is the tricky part and hopefully this swinging back and forth is not causing any further problems to my heart.

Friday morning is my CT angiogram. Would appreciate prayer for this test, the results and getting the BP under control again.

Thanks again everyone for your continued support~ Elayne

Friday, December 5, 2008

CT Angiogram next week

Yesterday I had an apt. with my cardiologist as we tried to untangle this medical mess. Kind of scary when even the specialists don't know what to do with you :)

Basically, I just had too many things all hit at the same time over the last few weeks and figuring out what caused what to happen is impossible.

So, here's the plan. Although my BP has been going up again it is not dangerously high but high enough to make me uncomfortable. The doctor is having me wait one more week to give my body some time to adjust and then decide if I need to go back on the beta blocker.

The CT angiogram is scheduled for Friday the 12th. For those of you that have been praying, please keep these things in prayer over the next week or so as well as for discernment for my doctors. I know all this will "level" out as soon as we figure it out. I am actually feeling much better, so it is just a matter of checking the arteries in the heart and monitoring the BP right now.

She also explained the bundle branch block to me yesterday, which I don't think I can re-explain other than a "blip" in the electrical impulse in my heart that happens when I exercise. I am allowed to run right now, but not alone until after the CT which will tell us more and hopefully the results will be fine and will not show any problems or hinder my running.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No more Americano's for me :)

Today I woke up to no coffee in the house so I did what every serious coffee drinker does- went to Starbucks! I ordered an Americano ( very strong) and it was great. However I then checked my blood pressure a while later to find it had shot up to 145/95. This just falls under the "dumb guy" category :)
It has come back down now, however Chris and I have noticed that since last week after receiving my Lupron injection it has been climbing back up along with headaches. So, we are suspecting the Lupron/hormone changes.
After consulting with my doctors it has been decided that I will have one more test for my heart which is a CT angiogram. This test will take a good look at the arteries. The cardiologist feels more comfortable to give me the ok to train for a marathon after these test results.
I have been off the beta blocker for a couple weeks now and can't say I am sure it's the right thing as my BP is going up and I feel some chest discomfort.
With all this somehow, my running is getting better :) We usually run about 4 miles for our regular runs. Saturday, we went ahead and did 5 and are planning to bump up to 6 this weekend. We are not in training right now, so this is just to keep in shape for when training starts again.
Overall, I am feeling better than the last couple of weeks, but adjusting to changes with the meds always takes some time. Please keep this in prayer as I adjust to the meds., have the CT angiogram and for discernment. And as always~ for continued healing!
Thanks everyone~ Elayne


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